Joel Frahm “Aguas De Março” Tenor Sax Solo Transcription

Here’s another beautiful solo by the great tenor saxophone player, Joel Frahm.  Joel has commented on quite a few times over the years and his passion for everything to do with the saxophone is very obvious.

This youtube video is one of my all time favorites.  It is the tune “Aguas De Março” (Waters of March)by Antônio Carlos Jobim and is performed by the Sant Andreu Jazz Band with guest soloist Joel Frahm.

Before I write about this amazing solo, let me just say that this recording and the Sant Andreau Jazz Band completely blew me away the first time I heard it.  The truth is that I have probably listened to this clip well over a hundred times by this point.  It is saved on my computer and whenever I feel bummed out or down for whatever reason,  I play it and by the end my sprits are lifted and I can get on with my day.  This morning was such a day.  I have been sick the last few days and when I woke up this morning I felt awful and just wanted to stay in bed.

Nevertheless, I fought my feelings, got a huge cup of coffee, trudged my way to my office and put on this youtube clip as I sipped my coffee.  By the end,  I felt much more hopeful, positive and determined.  With my new positive frame of mind, I decided to transcribe Joel Frahm’s beautiful solo on this tune.

Joel does an incredibly sensitive and beautiful job with this solo.  His tone and phrasing remind me a lot of Stan Getz.  I love how melodic and perfect it is.  If you are a fan of Joel Frahm, you know he could have torn this solo apart with 32nd notes, chord substitutions and “sheets of sound”.  Instead, he chose to be lyrical, musical and in the moment.   A young student might listen to this and think there is nothing impressive in this solo, but they would be wrong in my opinion.  What Joel is achieving here is one of the hardest endeavors to achieve in music.  A solo that is musical, sensitive and moves the listener in it’s beauty.  In my opinion, he has achieved that.

I believe the entire Sant Andreu Jazz Band and Joel have achieved that in fact.  I believe that because I have listened to this clip well over a hundred times and will probably listen to it another thousand times over the coarse of my lifetime.  It has lost none of it’s original beauty for me, I don’t think it ever will…….


Joel Frahm 

If you don’t know of Joel Frahm, here is a short bio from Joel’s website:

Joel Frahm’s May 1st release, We Used to Dance, places him in the company of master musicians Kenny Barron (piano), Rufus Reid (bass), and Victor Lewis (drums).  Frahm more than holds his own in showing both the chops and lyricism that has made him an irreplaceable part of so many sessions in his two decades on the jazz scene.   Surrounded by jazz legends, Frahm makes this recording a true “coming out party” for his maturing artistry. It is his most ambitious CD to date,  featuring six of his original compositions that come to life in beautiful and variegated ways in the hands of this remarkable band. “It was an honor and a watershed experience to make this record with these incredible musicians” he says. Having made a name for himself through his associations with singer Jane Monheit and boyhood friend,  pianist Brad Mehldau,  Frahm hones his own voice on this breakout recording. Joel has also worked with a vast array of musical peers and jazz legends including Maynard Ferguson, Betty Carter, Matt Wilson, Larry Goldings, Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Andrew Hill, Ben Allison, Pat Martino, Ingrid Jensen, Dena Derose, The Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Kyle Eastwood and many others. Born in Racine, WI in 1969, Frahm attended the Mason Gross School for the Arts and earned his B.A. in Jazz Performance at Manhattan School of Music. He released three highly regarded CDs on Palmetto: The Navigator, Don’t Explain (with Mehldau), and Sorry No Decaf. Don’t Explain, his latest, was the number one jazz release for radio play in the United States for two consecutive weeks in 2004, according to airplay chart and also reached number one on college radio for one week, according to College Music Journal’s airplay chart.  Joel was also recently selected in DownBeat Magazine’s Critics Poll as a Rising Star in the category of tenor saxophone.”

If you like Joel Frahm’s playing on this recording, make sure you check out Joel’s recordings!  I have most of them and they are terrific!  Also do yourself a favor and follow the Sant Andreau Jazz Band on Youtube!  I can’t believe how great they sound and how young they look.  I certainly don’t remember sounding that good in high school……….Wow!

Thanks again to the Sant Andreau Jazz Band and Joel Frahm for such a great performance! Also,  special thanks to Alba Armengou and Rita Payes who did such an amazing job singing this tune with such contagious joy!  Also, thanks to the director Joan Chamorro who must be the inspiration and direction behind this fabulous group.

Joel Frahm Solo on Aguas De Marco-Bb PDF
Joel Frahm Solo on Aguas De Marco-Eb PDF
Joel Frahm Solo on Aguas De Marco-C PDF

*If you would like to support me here at, you can do so on the support page of my store by debit or credit card.   Any support is appreciated and will go towards keeping this site running, saxophone reeds, mouthpiece patches, coffee, and towards justifying the many hours I spend on providing free transcriptions to the saxophone community!  Thanks,   Steve

Sant Andreu Jazz Band with Joel Frahm-Aguas De Março (Solo starts at 2:20)

Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site


  1. Avatar james DeSalvo says

    young people into it deep, just beautful!

  2. Avatar Carlos Perry says

    This is wonderful. Thanks for grabbing it and for the transcription. Frahm is in perfect sync, as you point out. It is worth noting that the vocal stylings owe a lot to the classic 1974 recording by Tom Jobim and the incomparable Eli’s Regina.

  3. Yeah Joel is a Great player, very melodic ala Stan Getz. I have been following the Sant Andreu JB for quite some time now. Not only are they terrific but full credit must go to their teacher Joan Chamorro.

    Also Andrea Motis is now 22, maybe 23 and she is touring w/Joan’s adult combo all over Europe. She plays trumpet and sings wonderfully. Actually she is like a young Chet Baker on trumpet and when she sings standards her phrasing but not her timbre is similar to Billie Holdiay’s. Joan’s school is not even an accredited college but I have seen his YT “Kids and Music.” You can see how he teaches in the YT. Most of it is in Spanish except for when the guys from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Band talk. However if you watch it you will more than get the idea.

  4. Yeah Joel is great, I really enjoy his playing.

    Besides Andrea Motis check out Rita Payes on trombone/vocal, Joan Mar Saque on trpt, Joan Codina, trombone and Eva Fernandez on alto/bari and vocals.

    Eva is also out of the student group now as she is 23 and gigging in Spain. Rita and Joan Codino are also gigging besides playing in the student group. Joan Mar Saque who reminds me of Kenny Dorham seem to be mostly playing in the student group.

    Joan Charmorro is really developing players. These people are just as good as anyone coming out of Berklee, UNT etc IMHO.

  5. Avatar Mark Klinefelter says

    Hello Steve! I have yet to find accurate transcribing software. If possible, could you put up an e flat version for us alto players? Thanks!

  6. Avatar Pedro Silvano Gunther says

    Steve, I arrived here from a link posted in Facebook today by Joan Chamorro. Sant Andreu Jazz Band is marvelous. Joel Frahm is terrific. You are, by what I see and hear, a great performer and a very gifted teacher and writer. So, I’m very happy to be involved with these three jazz giants here. If you don’t mind though, I’d like to make two remarks to this post. First, if your keyboard allows, you could write “Março” instead of “Marco”, because the music is about the waters of the month of “Março”, the Portuguese word for March. And “Marco” is a person’s name. And then, besides your love for this song and the praise for the band and the soloist, you could have made at least a small reference to Tom Jobim, the father of the song. Forgive me, please, for calling attention for our big Maestro, but with so many bad news from Brazil, it warms our hearts when people around the world like our music. Most of all, thanks for your post. 🎼🎼🍀🍀

    • Hi Pedro, Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. I am happy to make those changes in the post. I couldn’t figure out the ç but can copy and paste from the internet so that worked great! Of course I added a reference to Mr. Jobim. Sorry for my oversight in not mentioning him. Thanks, Steve

  7. Avatar Gerry Smith says


  8. Avatar Giuseppe C. says

    Thanks to Chamorro for his school which has trained so many musicians.
    Never seen so much grace and, above all, feeling and musicality in such young students.
    Above all, the sweetness and interpretation, and the voice, of Alba Armengou moves me to tears …; especially when she sings bossa nova.
    The ultimate in empathy.
    Like here, in particular:
    PS It seems to me that Scott Hamilton thinks like me … observing her facial expression while Alba sings!

  9. Avatar Giuseppe C. says

    And, how nice that, finally, instead of tormenting bulls in bullfighting arenas, the new generations in Spain prefer the sweetness and love of music!
    Looking to the sky instead of the bloody sand …
    Very nice the sound of the baritone player!
    All good.

  10. Avatar Giuseppe C. says

    Joel Frahm’s solo is really beautiful and perfectly suited his inspiration in the style of Stan Getz’s bossa novas sound!

  11. Avatar Giuseppe C. says

    I’m sorry,
    I generally read your every post down to the last line; this time, in a hurry, I didn’t do it and … what do I do?
    I’m going to duplicate your comment!
    Truly! Sorpresa
    However, I am happy to think like you much more experienced than me.

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